Category: Form and Narrative


Birth of a monster

Decades after god’s death,

There in the garden of Eden.

Adam sought the start of his breath.

For after the knowledge that brought creation was gathered,

Adam in his spirit could not feel zufrieden.

There in his lab the limbs of his victims scattered.

Tesla coils ready with pulsating energy like thunder,

And as Adam shared his bones with Eve

Here In Ingolstadt did the monster give birth to another.

 

A new creature wakes again

And from the remains of others

Her complex, beauty did not attain.

For her skin is painted in pale colors.

And her hair tangled like a rusty chain.

Her eyes did not look like the sky,

But instead glimmer like the shadow

Her face was deteriorated enough to terrify.

With her nose she had a beak like a crow.

Nails like bricks.

She was not the flower we would pick,

However artificial birth had started again.

And after the birth of a monster, creation and creator,

Ran to the setting sun

With deteriorated faces from said fabricator

Did Adam and Eve start a new.

 

Review:

This poem was written from a third person point of view assuming the creature did not die at the end of the novel. In this poem the creature, after Victor’s death and after for a couple of decades, the creature decides to go back to Ingolstadt to visit Victors old attic where his birth took place. There the creature learns the process by which he was created and knowledge alone would not suffice him. The creature with his knowledge decides to create and give birth to his companion, by killing other people and harvesting their limbs he creates his ideal partner. After her awakening the creature and his new companion run far away from the city and settle in an uninhabited location nowhere to be found forever. As you can see in the poem the story is told in a third person point of view and although the poem describes her as an ugly being, for the creature she is beautiful. We may not never know if the creature identified as male or female but for allusion and comparison purposes, we identify them as Adam and Eve because of the theme of creation and creator.

 

 

Lyrics Written and Sung By Cathryn Flores

Musical Instrumental from Billie Eilish’s “Come Out and Play”

0:00-0:14

Musical Intro

Verse 1:

0:15-0:41

I sit here

And feel the wind blow

Upon this mountain

My mind is free to soar

But I stay here

Without a shoulder, to lean on.

 

I’ve got to find out

Everything for myself

Verse 2:

0:42-1:06

I hear the birds

Chirping loudly

Can’t distinguish it but

I think the word is

Sound….

I’m in a crisis

Tell me what to do!

Chorus:

1:08-1:56

And I know,

This world is crazy

I’m not wanted

But I must stay here

If Victor doesn’t want me,

That’s fine

I’ll figure this for myself.

Navigating this life as a fool

But I’m only a fool

to you

Musical Break

1:57-2:01

Verse 3:

2:02-2:27

I feel snow

Running down my back

Feel like I want to attack

This rage inside

I can’t help but hide

This hollowness inside

can’t even be burned by

Time

The more time passes by

I just want to hide

Chorus 2:

2:28-3:23

Why must I

be burdened by

My abilities inside?

Tell me why! Tell me why.

Nobody appreciates me

I have to move on,

Before I hurt them all.

I’m not fit for society

My psychological distress

Master isn’t impressed,

Of my progress

Guess I’m a fool,

To everyone else too.

 

Review:

Dear Musical Engineer,

Thank you so much for taking the time to look over my work and accepting this art form to tell the story of Frankenstein. The reason I chose to tell the story of Victor Frankenstein’s monster through song and lyrics is because through singing, the audience is able to feel and hear the hurt and compassion the monster feels while being in isolation. This song takes place during a scene in the beginning of the novel, ranging from pages 95-96 in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Here, the monster is alone in an ice cave and away from society. The inspiration behind creating this song was to write it from the monster’s perspective while in the cave before interacting with Victor Frankenstein. The emotional anguish that this creature feels and discovery of new life forms is portrayed through the lyrics.

Additionally, I have made several references to the novel of Frankenstein itself. For example, when the lyrics say, “Hear the birds chirping loudly…sound”, this refers to the creature hearing birds chirp for the first time on page 96. Also, I mention, “navigating this life on my own… psychological distress”, referencing Victor’s abandonment of the creature and how this affected him psychologically.

Regarding the composition to the song, I decided to use a somber, piano instrumental that is at a moderate tempo. This instrumental allows for the audience to feel the somberness of the situation, and be able to connect with the lyrics that I am singing.

As a result, I hope the art of singing and having a musical track is able to touch my audience and see the monster through a new perspective. Hearing the confusion and pain in the monster’s voice through singing is very powerful, and I hope that others feel the emotional and physical pain that the monster does.

Sincerely,

Cathryn Flores

 

By: Sandra Tzoc

Comic 1Comic 2Comic 3Comic 4.jpgComic 5.jpg

I decided to do a comic based upon the scene where Caroline adopts Elizabeth. In Shelley’s novel Caroline finds Elizabeth while she is on a trip in Italy, however, I changed the setting and decided to make it take place in Nigeria. The purpose for this was to bring attention to the lack of domestic adoption. There are a lot of couples that go out of the country and adopt children and although that benefits those kids, the ones left in the United States are often overseen. In the comic I included African American children because they are the least likely to get adopted. This is an issue that these children of color have to face whereas ‘golden children’ like Elizabeth are more likely to find a home and at a faster rate. The attitude that Caroline portrayed in Italy is representative of adoptive parents especially when both Alphonse and Caroline believe Elizabeth was sent from heaven simply because she had fairer skin than the rest of the children. There was a study conducted by the University of Vermont in which they found, “that even though they [the parents] wanted to diversify their family by adopting a child of color, adopting a black child seemed too different.” It was interesting to read these people’s answers when they were asked why they didn’t adopt a black child. Some said that they did not feel equipped to teach the children how to face racism. Other couples stated that African American children were “too different, both culturally and physically”. However, these same Caucasian couples went ahead and adopted Asian and Central American children. This led me to the conclusion that prejudice, and racism is not only pinned against grown-ups but that children in foster care have to deal with it as well. Everyone deserves to have a loving home no matter how different they are, no matter what color they are.

workplace-discrimination-definitionI am in my parked car looking outside at individuals walking with their families. In the car, it is just me and my little brother Jesus and we are both just waiting for the news about our new baby brother to be here.

Last year my brother told me that he is very lonely in the house now since I have moved away for college and our parents are always busy with something they have to do around the house or because of work. When I found out that my family is going to get bigger I was tremendously happy because I know that my little brother will love his baby brother and they could both get along with each other very well. After we found out about my baby brother we started to gather all the necessary things for a newborn child and my brother helped us pick out a few things in the process as well.

Now the time has come to where my baby brother will be brought into our world and we could care for him very much. Before he was born the doctors told us that my baby brother wasn’t going to have a normal life and we didn’t understand what he meant by that until he explained that my brother was going to be mentally disabled with Autism.

When I found this out I was starstruck because I never expected this to happen and I didn’t know how my brother would react to the news. I didn’t want to be the one to tell him that his baby brother wasn’t going to be mentally stable. I wanted to just know that my brother was going it love him even though he had a mental condition.

After talking it him about it he seemed fine and didn’t care about his condition and that he was still going to do his best to play and love his baby brother a lot.

After my brother told us this I was relieved about that fact that he would still treat him as his brother and not treat him as anything else. With that being said our baby brother came into our lives 3 hours later and we showed him love and care since the day we laid eyes on him.

The first time I got to carry him I looked at him and started to imagine his future in the world we all live in today where people can misjudge a person just by the way they look or by the way they act. I figured yes people will talk about him and people will call him names but he is going to learn one day to ignore all of those people and just focus on himself. I also imagined him having his children and us being there for him all the way and his path is going to be full with obstacles sometimes big and sometimes small but all paths lead to one same destination and that was in my head the whole time he was in my  arms.


Review

To the publisher,

In the crafting of this piece, I chose the way how Adam is alone and is being misjudged throughout the novel because of the way he looks. Adam showed throughout the novel how he is different from what people describe him to be. He helps out the cottage family by getting them wood and gathering it on the side of their house and from afar he sees the reaction of the family of joy. Adam wanted to love and be loved throughout his life, he didn’t want to be alone and miserable he wanted to share his experiences with someone else. Victor as being the creator of Adam he doesn’t care for him when he first awoke and after Victor goes out and looks for him in the forest and finds him in the cave and talks to him he figures out something they had in common. Adam and Victor both were alone and they both just wanted someone to love and since Victor lost his mother and was left with the loneliness in his heart he created the same feelings in Adam without having anyone with him to care for him. After there talk Victor talks to Adam more and invites him to the wedding and with this evidence, Adam and Victor actually liked each other and they grew close together because Victor got to know the real Adam and not just the monster that everyone believed him to be.

Best,

Marco Hidalgo

 

By Jade Graham

 

-Located in the Saville Family Archives-
From the desk of Margaret Saville
Date: December 4, 1799

Robert and I were close, especially when we were younger. He was always wandering off to the nearby forest where we lived as kids, while I always had my nose in a book. Eventually, he would come back and tell me his findings. Usually, it involved woodland creatures and his attempts to interact with them. I always believed them to be silly tales he told to amuse me. After he was finished telling me his stories, I would tell him the book I had read that day. Reading was my way of experiencing adventure, and Robert quite often enjoyed my retelling of the interesting novels I read.

As we got older and we both were dedicated to our studies, we kept in touch through letters. I was focused in England and Robert was continuously changing school to another school. One day, I got a letter out of the blue from him saying he was planning an expedition to the North Pole and leaving his studies behind. I inquired as to why he would make a decision so drastically. It made me think back to when we were younger and his forest journeys.

He used to say he wanted to change the world with a great adventure one day. In his letter, he reasoned that this expedition was a fine idea and how he was fully capable of seeing it through. Robert desired the knowledge that others did not possess in universities. I did not believe when my brother informed me of going through with this expedition that it would go well. The North Pole is dangerous and not like the woods he used to explore as a child.

I wondered if mother and father knew of Robert’s intentions. However, there is very little they could have done to stop him. Once Robert set his mind on something, he was driven by ambition to get the task done. If only they knew what I knew now. I haven’t heard from Robert in a few months, the letters have stopped. I’m terrified that something else has occurred since his last letter where he revealed the last part of Victor Frankenstein’s story with his creation. Even the word, “creation” is still appalling to read in his letters. What a story!

If this is to be truthful, then science has forever been altered. The events that have taken place the past few years, if real are fascinatingly terrifying. But a question lingers in my mind most nights, preventing sleep. Is it better for the world to know of the creature and his creator’s tale or let the world continue? With this knowledge my brother, as well as myself, now have… what are we to do with it? There is no proof, no evidence to be given. When Robert comes home as he is supposed to in four months time, I will ask what he believes should take place next. I do hope he is alright. Robert does not always think first with his actions, especially if he can attain something out of the risk. He and Victor Frankenstein appear to have this idea in common. I just hope for his sake that he does not end up in a fate such as Victor Frankenstein did.

 

Review:

Published in The New York Times
May 13, 2019

It has been over two hundred years since this letter (and others mentioned) have been written. Recently found in the deceased Mary Saville’s household, skeptics believe there is a possibility of truth to this story. Other sources have discovered journal entries from their family ancestry describing strange events involving a “creature” like the one mentioned in Ms. Margaret Saville’s letter. This one, however, is the only letter recovered, the other ones have yet (or never will be) found.

Why were these letters between Ms. Saville and her brother written? It appears to be a sibling bond nonetheless, however, the wild tale implications seem to add a shock appeal. Ms. Saville’s handwriting in this letter is quick as if the thoughts were about to leave her as she wrote them. As if she needed to get them out. Yet, there is still secrecy what the full story is. Without the other letters, the world does not know the full tale. I do believe skeptics will find the letter funny and discard it. Cast the idea off aside, when in reality one never does know the full truth. What happened with the person Victor Frankenstein? What fate did he have? Why did Ms. Saville want to stop her brother?

Too many questions with very little answers to show for an actual story. That is what my editor told me. But here, now before the deadline, I believe there is more to Ms. Saville and her brother’s letters. I believe they could change the world as her brother wanted to when he was alive.

by Isaac Gallegos Rodriguez

20181205_020836(1)

“Las Llamas Que Torturan”

Our visage, emaciated

Hollow, a husk, an empty shell

Synthesized – production of our infernal hell

Our humanitarian claims rejected

Our intrinsic values, always contested

Detested, I feel detested

Who am I? A hijacked narrative

Corrupted, misconstrued

It was politically imperative

Lock the gates, erect the border, deny the refugee their refuge

Project onto me your perspective, I am an empty vessel

Deprive me of my dream, a dream of warmth and love

a place for my weary, burdened, soul to nestle

I live the life of a “criminal” but like a human, I dream

please do not take that away too,

fresh is my wound’s suture and seam.

I stole the torch from Lady Liberty, to light the way

I have offended thee? You have made me lose my way!

Shoot me in the head, and throw me away –

maybe in the afterlife, all borders are frayed.

Explanation:

“I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly and exult in the agony of the torturing flames”- The Creature (Shelley, 189)

My creative writing took the form of a poem because I wished to challenge my creative capabilities. My poem, which I titled Las Llamas Que Torturan (The Flames That Torture), is focused on the quoted text, and the ending of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, while also attempting to incorporate themes of our contemporary society and the ongoing struggles of immigrants. As a Mexican-American, I have experienced secondhand how our current political ideologies influence our nation’s tolerance over minorities and ethnic groups, and I attempted to project this ethnic study perspective, as well as utilizing Anzaldua’s race perspective.

The poem initiates in an ambiguous and nonspecific way, and this is visibly seen by the lack of a realized narrator (until the 7th line, and yet we still aren’t given a name). In fact, a narrator is never introduced in this text, because of the fact that I intentionally tried to minimize the presence of a speaker. This is a greater attempt to replicate the Creature’s validity in the civilized world (or lack thereof). However, instead of the Creature being in my poem, it is the Latino immigrants. This effect of ambiguity creates a sense of solidarity, through a collective experience of struggles in the United States. And with specifically chosen words (e.g., emaciated, contested, detested, etc.) I also mimic the tone of the Creature (as he describes himself in the novel). Overall, my poem is an adapted version of the Creature’s identity throughout the novel, and through this specific action I apply the Frankenstein myth into our modern times, and onto the struggles of Latino immigrants. The greater effect that may be achieved, through this poem, is a specific social criticism/commentary on the volatile immigrant policies, issued by our current presidency, that actively target our immigrant communities. Furthermore, I created the art piece above to represent the struggles, through a more visual medium. The image depicts a despondent-looking female, on fire. She represents the Latino immigrant. Furthermore, with the use of the color blue, it represents the Latino community’s internal representations of themselves: they are wretched (much like the Creature) because of how the United States projects inaccurate and discriminatory narratives/perspectives onto them. These may be misconceptions, however, even abstract things like ideas have negative implications. The fire engulfing the woman can attempt to further imitate the Creature and their “funeral pile”, yet in this situation, we as a people do not “ascend our funeral pile triumphantly” — we are subjected to it involuntarily. We do not want our identities to be ‘killed’ with misconceptions and politically-motivated attacks on our genuine narratives of struggle, but the sociopolitical institutions that surround us do — and as a people, we have to continue to claim our rights and validate our existence, because unlike the Creature, we are not alone. And this small difference is monstrous in importance.

 

 

 

Below are five very short stories, or drabbles, gathered together in a collection. We chose to explore different ideas in each of them through the characters of Frankenstein. In the spirit of fanfiction authors: we don’t own Frankenstein or the characters. Comments are always welcome and encouraged. They feed our muses! Without further ado please enjoy the first 2k18 Frankenstein Drabble Compilation!

By Diana Lara and Maria Nguyen-Cruz

Diana 1: The Dream Wedding

Elizabeth had always dreamed of the perfect wedding. Her dress would be a beautiful tulle and lace affair in the most crisp of whites accompanied by a beautiful bouquet of white carnations, red roses, and ivy.

The entire wedding would be gorgeous. It was the sort of event she envisioned would be the talk of the town when the initial save-the-dates were hand delivered. It was to be the best day of her life and she had planned for it far in advance. She wanted it to be perfection.

That being said her actual wedding was nothing like her dream wedding. Victor Frankenstein was a very selfish man and his family wealth and intellect could only mask that so much. Elizabeth had discovered that early on in their relationship and had come to terms with it over time.

Her new reality being that Victor Frankenstein was her endgame partner and the one who would surely be the father of her children one day. So instead she had to make do with him and make the best of the situation. Victor refusing to let poor Adam sit anywhere but right next to the toilets was a clear indication of his regard for the other man.

Victor announcing to everyone that Elizabeth would be taking his name publicly, when they had previously discussed that she planned to hyphenate, was in poor taste.

Victor spending more and more time with Henry the further Elizabeth delved into wedding plans with Justine and Caroline was frustrating but understandable in the end. So many of her plans had changed. Even her wedding bouquet now consisted of cyclamens, with striped carnations, and white petunias.

Victor’s faults could not surely be ignored but Elizabeth would be in the wrong to deny that he wasn’t also someone with virtues. After all growing up together had taught him how to be a proper educator and had taught her that there was nothing wrong with being a perpetual student.

Elizabeth loved Victor so even if the wedding wasn’t perfect and someone was clearly sabotaging them to keep them from marrying she would be satisfied. She would convince herself of it, she knew she could.

It was however incredibly hard to deny someone was clearly intent on ruining her special day.

“What do you mean your dress is ruined?” They couldn’t afford this right now! Adam, bless him, had been around to try to help and get Justine and her destroyed dress to a nearby seamstress to try to salvage it.

“I’ll just go with Adam and we’ll figure this out Elizabeth! Your wedding isn’t ruined yet. I promise!” Justine swore as she rushed out the doors with Adam and a garment bag.

Elizabeth sighed loudly and practically threw herself down on the bed of the hotel suite they’d reserved for her wedding preparations.

She loved Victor Frankenstein. She loved Victor Frankenstein. She loved Victor Frankenstein…

This was by far not the wedding she had expected. She sincerely hoped her post-wedding plans weren’t about to be ruined or she’d just die of frustration.

Diana 2: A Response to an Engineer Off the Rails

Margaret Saville née Walton had been an English major back in her university days. The saving grace of her brother Robert because the man was a lot of things but a good writer wasn’t one of them. He’d known it too.

During their university days it wasn’t uncommon to receive the odd writing assignment in her email. That was back then however when he’d been forced to take classes in subjects that did not interest him. They were past that now. They were adults with jobs in their respective fields.

So why was Robert emailing her a manuscript at 2:30 am? Which from the looks of it and the quick skim read she had done of it was nothing more than another retelling of the same clichéd horror and sci-fi thriller tropes.

Robert,

There are a few things I have to say but I just want to start off by saying what the fuck? I thought you were starting to work on that whole magnetism idea of yours? I know funding isn’t always as easy to come by for engineering products that aren’t for profit. Did you not get the funding for it? What happened? You’re now rewriting Frankenstein? I won’t lie to you this is bordering on plagiarism. You haven’t been very original have you?

Please tell me if something is wrong I’ll be more than willing to help you out.

Anyway the actual text itself: I found it to be very trite. Viktor’s android creation is out of his control and running rampant slaughtering symbolic characters. Judith Law isn’t a very subtle name brother. Despite bringing the old tropes into a modern setting and relating them to technological advances in science I fail to see anything truly new being offered by this modern rendition. It’s good but it’s been done before.

How many Terminator movies do we have? It’s that kind of logic that you’re playing with and I’m not very enthralled by it. If this manuscript was submitted to me at the company I would probably not publish it unless extensive revisions were done on the part of the author. It just lacks a selling point.

I’m sorry to tell you this but you have to do more than just tell me what I already know. You need to actually try.

See you at Christmas.

With Love,

Margaret Saville

Diana 3: Felix Before the Fall

As the only son there were things expected from Felix. Expectations that ranged from his profession to his eventual future wife. Inevitably one day he would be expected to continue his family’s legacy. They were a household name, albeit one of the lesser well-known ones, but a household name none the less.

Agatha had it far easier. For her part she simply had to have excellent manners and essentially hold court with her friends and admirers. Oh how lucky his younger sister was for having fewer expectations to meet. Sometimes he certainly wished he could trade places with Agatha.

Attending to all his related duties and engagements had eventually led to his path crossing with hers. She was gorgeous. The sort of woman he couldn’t help but have his eyes drawn to and he was struck with a desire to know her. To understand her.

It was an entirely foolish desire on his part because he could surely lose the family fortune. Ruin the family name if he wasn’t careful and that was something his father would surely have an opinion on.

“You’re in love with her?” Agatha asked as they strolled through the garden arm in arm.

“Well…maybe not quite yet but I feel like I could fall in love with her.” He responded all while looking away from his sister’s perceptive gaze.

“Right…Have you ever actually spoken to her though? You’ve only seen her because her father conducts business with some of our business associates. Maybe actually talk to her before you do something rash. Just a suggestion.” Agatha advised and Felix wanted to scoff at the suggestion.

Did she really think him so rash and irrational? Granted he had barged into her room to tell her he might be in love so perhaps she wasn’t quite wrong…

“I’ll try to speak to her the next time I see her. I just…I don’t know every time I’ve seen her I’ve become enveloped by this desire to almost protect her? She doesn’t seem like she always enjoys being in the presence of her father? Maybe I can do something about that. Give her an escape?”

Agatha sighed and looked away from her brother at that. It was a sigh teeming with a sort of quiet resignation that came from hearing something over and over again.

“Before you assume you’re some sort of savior for this woman, you should talk to her and ask her how she feels about her life. No matter how you see her situation it doesn’t necessarily mean it is as you see it. She might see it differently. It’s her life not yours. Speak to her first Felix.”

“I will.”

“If and only if she confirms your suspicions, then you can serve as some form of aid to escape. Don’t pretend to understand what we women go through and label it some sort of oppression without asking us first. So again speak to her first Felix before declaring you’re in love and her hero. That’s my advice.”

Review Pt. 1: Maria’s Review:

Fanfiction is very dependent on community engagement. The ways in which the work evolves and quality is ensured, is through the audiences comments and interactions with it. So, Diana and I have decided to write reflections on each other’s pieces in the spirit of fan fiction.

To begin, both of Diana’s stories take place in different versions of the Frankenstein canon; where in which Elizabeth, Felix, and Margaret are characters with more development. I don’t mean that in a manner that is disrespectful to Shelley and her writing, I just believe that Diana was exploring different ways that these characters work. How does one alter the work that has already been done, without losing the essence of a character that has already been established? You have to be creative and use the resources that are available to you. Whether it is an encyclopedic knowledge of birds or bread, you can integrate your personal touch to something that you are already fond of. For instance, Diana decided to use the flower language to display the dramatic change in attitude that Elizabeth goes through about marriage. There is a thoughtfulness that goes into displaying character dynamics, and unfortunately fanfiction doesn’t always have the benefit of a large word count to do so. Using the visual metaphors of flowers you are essentially relying on your readers to find the associations with them and close read for the deeper meaning. The original text develops the creature extensively and Diana Lara develops Elizabeth, Felix, and Margaret in a variety of forms. For instance for Margaret’s rework, Diana uses an email format in which to imagine Margaret’s reaction to her brothers retelling of the story. It provides an immediate response, there’s no need for a bunch of fancy prose.

This exercise was liberating for those of us who have gotten used to just writing essays. I know that for Diana and I, it was nice to revisit a method of collaboration and publication that we frequented in the past.

Maria 1: “‍The seductive nature of the sea”

Second Mate Angel Himshire’s Log

Twentieth day at sea.

Mood: Sober

I was told that this journey would assist in the betterment of society, but after a long conversation with the captain of the vessel, I realized why the rest of the crew doesn’t speak with him.

I was making my way back to my quarters when I ran into him, we exchanged greetings and (because I smiled at him, I think) he invited me to his cabin for a drink. He was handsome and I was already two drinks in so I agreed. He led me to his room, and after situating myself onto his bed, he planted himself onto his office chair. Then, he swiveled to face his desk and began to rummage through one of the cabinets before finally producing a bottle of wine.

We drank in silence for about half an hour. It was so awkward, I had no idea what to talk about with him. After he started to pour me another glass, I had garnered enough courage to speak to him.

“So,” I began, taking the glass he shoved in my direction, “Captain-“No please,” he interrupted, holding a hand up in the air, “Call me Robert.”

He had poured his wine into a canteen and as my heart skipped a beat my eyebrow raised. This is not cute behavior.

“So,” I eyed him warily unsure if I was going to be interrupted again, “I’ve noticed that there aren’t any women aboard the ship, are you traveling this vast ocean for a woman?”

Listen, the answer I was hoping for was something along the lines of, “I prefer the company of men and angels. You are one such heavenly creature.” But the answer I received was so odd, so jarring that the only reason I listened to him was because I had not the clarity to navigate myself back to my chamber.

“The ocean is a slut.” Robert hissed, his stare was so sharp that I was pierced with shock. I was paralyzed with confusion, so I didn’t respond, and he continued.

“We can’t trust women the same way we cannot trust the ocean. You know what? Because I said that, for just one moment think of the ocean as a woman. For one, there is no disputing that she’s beautiful, because everyone who encounters her usually speaks of her favorably. These people are fools. Her beauty is conditional; she changes briskly and frequently, one minute she’s as tranquil as the moon in the sky, and the next she’s at your throat for simply approaching her and her appearance is as haggard as the tone in her voice.” He took a long sip from the canteen he has been fiddling with since the conversation began.

“Raspy and unbearably loud!” Robert cried, “ She’s fickle and it seems as if she doesn’t know what she wants! But she does. She wants you. Every night she lifts her fists in anger against the cliff sides upon which you are housed. While her friend the wind sides with her and together they express their combined discontent. The earth may side with you, and is determined to protect you, but we as men have disrespected his protection- we have not sided with him! The ocean, the dirty whore, the salacious villain, is covered with our sea men. We throw ourselves at her, because she is wet and eager to take us in. She wants to engulf our length, our legacy, and we foolishly think it is safe to enter her depths. The deeper we get, the more foreign and dangerous she becomes. There is more of her than there is of us, boy!” Robert slammed his canteen onto his desk before he continued.

“As we pollute her with our filth, she wants more, so much more that she thrashes and fits as a mean to trap us within her bosom. And her friend, the vile wind, assists her once again! Oh the wind! Screeching, making it nearly impossible for some to travel, ripping off our clothes and taking our caps with her!”

He slammed the hat he was wearing onto the floor.

“This, boy, is why we make the journey towards a land with warmth, where we will be embraced by a virgin land- our last hope for survival. Women are liars and sluts, like their sister the sea, and we men are the stable and reasonable earth.”

Somehow, he tired himself out from hearing his own voice too much. He dismissed me and I ran towards my room at breakneck speed. Suffice it to say, I will never speak to him again. Perhaps he will find someone stranger than he is to connect with, and I’ll find a sane man to provide me a bit of entertainment on this vessel.

Maria 2: In which Justine is in detention.

Justine wasn’t supposed to be in detention.

She’s the most boring girl in the world; she can’t go to bed without flossing and brushing her teeth, she organizes her books by the year they were published, she has a color coded underwear drawer. Justine has straight A’s, thinks khaki can be scandalous, and loves Jesus. She would never dare think of stepping a 600 B.C sandal clad toe out of line.

So why was she in detention? Because they found a picture of the bullied boy in her jean skirt? How is that enough for the school administration to sentence her to detention and consider expulsion?

Justine has been grinding her teeth for the past thirty minutes and has been praying to god for help. Her parents are dead, so it’s not like they could bail her out. She doesn’t really have friends, and Elizabeth has been in questioning for hours now.

She’s alone.

She wasn’t before, when she could just talk to Elizabeth and hold her hand to feel better. Justine could look at soft and beautiful Elizabeth and feel at peace, in fact her behavior is so dramatically different that her posture relaxes as soon as Justine thinks of the blonde’s smile.

Even the thought of her is comforting.

So, Justine thinks about how she spends every waking moment next to Elizabeth. She starts thinking of a future where Elizabeth becomes the doctor she’s always wanted to be and Justine is her housewife who teaches bible study on the weekends- wait.

Housewife?

They would have to be married for that, and hers? Why would Justine consider herself Elizabeth’s?

Then it was as if god had sent an angel to speak truth to her, a voice clear as day said to Justine, “Because you’re gay, dumbass.”

But how could this be?

Then the voice spoke again, “Because you’re madly in love with your best friend, dumb ass. Go tell her.”

Oh. Well, love is love, and now she knows what she has to do. Everyone thinks that she’s the good girl gone bad, so why doesn’t she just say heck it and get what she wants for once?

This jail-bird is breaking free.

Justine raises her hand, “Mr. Law? Can I go to the restroom, it’s a feminine emergency.” She tried to look mysterious and pained at the same time, instead she just looked like she needed to fart.

The teacher, Mr. Law, could not care less. So she goes, she leaves, she runs to the parking lot and finds Elizabeth begging her friend Victor to help Justine get out of school.

Justine, filled with newfound strength, approaches Elizabeth, grabs her by the shoulders and says:

“I broke out of detention!” Elizabeth was shocked and gasped as Victor started to back away from the pair , “I did it because the lord told me to tell you that I am in love with you. I always have been. Can we start seeing each other, romantically, even if I get expelled?”

Elizabeth, stunned and overwhelmed with joy, pulls back her slightly curled hair over her shoulder and says, “Yes!”

Review Pt.2: Diana’s Review

As Maria said in her half of the review: fanfiction relies heavily on community. It is medium through which fans can argue and defend their views on beloved characters in a creative way. It is a way to provide prospective writers with inspiration and support as they endeavor to write the sort of material that fellow fans want to see of their favorite characters. Once a creator has set aside their pen for the final time, it is assumed that the characters stories also cease to exist beyond the room in which they were created. Fanfiction serves as way to free the characters from this initial room and into the rest of the house to explore.So my review is on Maria’s two pieces. Maria does this with her two pieces because not only does she pull Justine and Elizabeth into a modern setting but she also builds upon their original characters and adds a touch of her own interpretations of the characters. She grapples with the topic of the inner struggles many young adults can relate to and in a few short sentences is able to essentially provide a positive message that reassures that they can consolidate these different sides of themselves without having to compromise either. As for Walton’s rant on the ocean, here we see a different topic being explored with different characters and through the ideas of an original character. Once more by taking the beloved original characters and transporting them from their initial room to a different one in the house we are able to tell a fresh story. This fresh story that compares the ocean to a fickle woman through the eyes of the ship’s second mate. One aspect that I particularly enjoy is the choice to compare to the ocean to a woman but the earth to a man because both are forces of nature. Nature almost always is attributed female qualities and so is the earth but with this piece these general conclusions are not quite applicable. Now the ocean is the female figure and the earth is the male one. The struggle between the two speaks on more than just the physical but also on the dynamic that exists between men and women in practically any situation.

I enjoyed working on this assignment because it allowed me a certain kind of creative license that essays do not give me the opportunity to indulge in. I also enjoyed the collaborative aspect of the project because as we worked on these short pieces Maria and I discussed the characters and our visions of them. It is interesting to see how we both agreed on the characters and yet still present them differently because of our different narrative voices and writing styles.

December 30th, 2018

Dear Friend,

My first month of life was…confusing, I had woken up one night, completely bewildered and unsure. I couldn’t speak or make sense of anything, I was frightened, and I wasn’t sure where I was. I remember seeing movement out of the corner of my eye and I began to mumble try and get their attention, but when I truly saw them, all I could see was the face of a frightened individual who ran as soon as they saw me. This was the beginning of my heartache. The man—what I later came to realize was my father—the one who had created me, and he had ran from me, his son. I remember trying to follow him, but I just wasn’t sure how things worked. He lived in a very expensive and high tech house, so I became distracted with the many things in the house as I tried to find him. However, once I found him, I tried to speak to him but he just became frightened once again and looked at me with disgust and repulsion before fleeing down the stairs and out into the garden. That was the last of him I saw for a long time.

-M.

January 14th, 2018

Dear Friend,

I’ve been roaming the streets for quite a while now, I don’t have anywhere to go, no money or food. But I’ve picked up a few phrases here and there from people I hear, trying to sound out words that I seem to recall from a past life, I’m extremely intelligent you see. I’ve become friends this an old man who runs a small shop on the corner of R and Michigan Streets, he gives me candy when his son isn’t around. His son—Felix doesn’t like me hanging around, he says it’s bad for business, but I don’t care the old man is my friend. I often wonder how my father is, does he miss me? Does he ever think about me?

-M.

February 20th 2018

Dear Friend,

I saw my father, he seemed happy, but seeing him filled me with rage and an irresistible anger that I just had to let out. It led me to do something insane, and I am just a bit reluctant to share that what I did I enjoyed very much.

-M.

March 26th, 2018

Dear Friend,

I have found my father again, I have forced him to do something for me and luckily this maybe the last time I see him…this may also be the last time I write for you. Please know that I tried to be the best I could…I just wasn’t strong enough.

-M.

June 3rd, 2018

Dear Friend,

Apologies for the disappearance, I’ve been quite busy. But A friend recently told me I should tell my story of how I came to be. Of how I was created, and what my first few months of life were like. They said I should publish these letters it in a more public setting, like Twitter or Facebook, but these are secrets I have guarded for a long time, so I think a blog post would be best fit. Instead of a few characters on Twitter. If you read my story, thank you, you would be the first to willingly care to learn about me.                                                                                                                                           -M.

Review:

I chose to write diary/journal entries because I wanted to see what it would be like to write from the perspective of a modern monster and his experiences since he woke up. Obviously, I couldn’t fit all the important events, but I listed a few that seemed like major ones. I wanted it to seem like he was writing them as they were happening but unfortunately that would have been impossible because the monster didn’t know how to write or comprehend words. Therefore he writes them from the future as if he were in the past. I also tried to make it a bit more teenager-like as if a child were writing the stories rather than an adult. I also left it at a very abrupt ending because I wanted to show how realistically it would be if someone who just started writing and reading would be like writing in a diary. They would forget to write in the journal therefore missing a few pages and events, as well as writing in very incomplete thoughts.

If this were to be properly published as the speaker wishes, it would have been published on a private blog, I chose the blog site because I felt that even though Twitter and Facebook are very modern and very much the place where people share their stories, a blog would have been more personal to the creature because after all this is his life story which is very personal to him. And if he were to just post it on Twitter it would perhaps just be not as intimate as he would want it to be. Through his blog, the monster wants the readers to truly understand his motives, and reasons why he did what he did and to understand that this isn’t just some fictional story, it is his life. In a way he wants people to connect over his story as he did not have that connection with people for a very long time whilst he was experiencing the events he writes about.

-Laura Mateo Gallegos

 

Christopher Martinez

Narrative:

Once, there was an ambitious scientist whose name was Darwin Frankenstein. Darwin was a very ambitious person and always sought to explore the unknown. His intentions as a scientist was to find out the truth of everything that had a life. In other words, he wanted to recreate life itself. Some would say Darwin Frankenstein is the modern Prometheus, while others may call him idiotic for trying to challenge the creator of his existence – god.  Darwin attended a very prestigious university that focused on the sciences, however, Darwin also learned about the philosophical thoughts created about humans itself. Darwin would hate any other class that had nothing to do with his passion. Using his brilliant mindset, he wanted to create a ‘thing’ with life and emotion. Darwin wanted a companion with consciousness.

When Darwin graduated from his university he had a goal that had to be fulfilled before the day of his death. Darwin wanted the power of life in his hand. One stormy night while walking back home from a small distraction break, Darwin saw something crying its soul out through the corner of his eye. Darwin saw the shadow of death take away the soul of a tender young black dog. As soon as Darwin saw this, he grabbed the dog and rushed straight to his house. Darwin ran with excitement, his dopamine levels were out of control. It was as if Darwin entered a state of euphoria as he finally knew what he was going to experiment on. When Darwin got home he placed the dog on his table and began the procedure. He took out the dogs brain and replaced it with a humans brain that he stole from a nearby hospital. He shaved the dog’s hair and switched it to something very odd. Darwin then stitched up the young dog as he was getting mentally ready for the moment. As the lighting reflected Darwin’s face, he flipped the electric switch that would change the meaning of life. “IT ALIVE!” said Darwin.

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Darwin looked at the dog with happiness all written all over him. “ Those blue eyes, the white fur, the perfect paws. What a beautiful dog.” Darwin looked at the dog as something to praise. He felt the power of the highest power on his hands. The dog began to run around like a lost person in the wilderness, but once the dog stopped he looked at Darwin and growled. Darwin ran away into his other room, however, when he came back to take a peek into his home laboratory, the dog disappeared.

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Darwin had looked everywhere and the fear spread through his veins. Darwin was starting to go insane. He didn’t even take a glance to reflect what he had done. If only he knew that the dog died from abuse and the dogs wish was to go into his paradise. The dog was rather happy dying. On the other hand, the human brain that Darwin had captured was a brain that would’ve saved a human’s life. The person who needed the brain had been waiting for years and years. If only Darwin took the time to realize what he was doing.

 

Review:

Dear Christopher Martinez,

I want to start off by saying that I really enjoyed your replication of Frankenstein and adapting it to the 21st century. I think that the story really showed Darwin real side in the original Frankenstein. Everything felt right and the sense of originality and creativity is shown. Throughout the story, Darwin is shown as a person who is very ambitious and wants to make something that has never been made before. He wants to have the hands of god and use it to his own benefit. Throughout this short replication of Frankenstein, Darwin is shown as a person who is fully dedicated to his mission. He goes to college for his own benefit and doesn’t really care about anything else that he learns. He ignores the real world just to have the same power as a creator! I also see a connection between the definition of beauty in the original Frankenstein and your story. Frankenstein’s ideology in beauty is that the European looks (white, blue eyes, and clear skin) are better looking than others. The use of the dog’s fur shows how Darwin wants only “beautiful and perfect” looks for his creation

Originality is shown in the story in a very unique way. The way the story is formatted gave me the chills. For example, you used similes to give any reader an image of what they are exactly reading. In your version of the story, I learned about Darwin obtaining a dog and getting a human’s brain. I read a bit of context on these two subjects, however, at the end of your story you come back to these and explain the meaning of these two important parts of the story. I found out how the dog actually died and what the brain was being used for. I am interpreting that you wanted readers to feel like Darwin. Darwin is shown a person who doesn’t give much thought to his actions and likewise, I felt that way as well. I read about these two things with little to no context and I didn’t pause to think what these two objects in the story truly signified about Darwin’s personality.

From,

A Bobcat

 

Composition: Poem – Socially Dead

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After all the mean comments

After all the shame

I’m deleting our picture

And you’re to blame. 

You’ve called me a monster,

Well,

You made me this way.

Abandoning your own creation

With no apology 

to this day.

Every now and then, I pop up

Tagged in a #TBT

This can be one of the worst times ever

For everyone can make fun of me.

As I resurface every year,

You refuse to face me. 

You press “hide from profile”

As if to erase me.

I know I’m an ugly picture,

But I have such character.

I’m a central part of your memories,

Your life.

If you’d only let yourself remember.

I just wish you were open

to pictures of all types, 

Instead you pushed me aside, tucked me away

Because I didn’t get enough likes.

Well,

 I’ve had enough. 

Away I will stay. 

Since social media wants pics

That won’t astray from cliché. 

Review:

In this poem, I embodied an old, “ugly”, picture, one typically found on social media’s such as Facebook or MySpace, to represent the abandoned and unloved creation. This old, or “throw back Thursday”, picture symbolizes Frankenstein’s past creation that continues to somehow come back to haunt him. It is apparent in the poem that pictures that receive fewer likes are the ones hidden or ridiculed, which tends to make the creator of the picture feel embarrassed or appalled at the picture. There are features that allow people to “hide” their photos from their profile to make it seem as if they were never there, which alludes to exactly what Victor did to the creature immediately after he created it. Victor hid his creation away from the world due solely to its appearance, disregarding the hard work, time, and dedication put into it, just like people of our generation don’t post certain pictures because they know aesthetically it is unpleasant and wont receive a vast number of likes. This relates to why I chose to make the poem a modern piece through the lens of a social media post because everyone is aware of how their “unaesthetically pleasing” pictures are treated on social media and, most importantly, what we do to those pictures. More often than not, the pictures that receive less likes are quickly deleted and treated as if they never even happened; just like the “unaesthetically pleasing” creature was abandoned and treated as if they never happened, until Victor could no longer run from it. In a lot of cases, we can not run from pictures that we’ve hid on social media because, at one point or another, someone will repost the picture, it will resurface, and one will have to face it, just like Victor had to face his creation in the end.

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– Jaimee Watson